Romans 1:20-21 “For God’s invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
God revealed Himself so clearly in the natural order that no person will ever be able to stand before the Creator and claim that there is insufficient evidence that He exists and should be worshiped. This is the reason why our small group bible Study spent time exploring the countless evidence of God’s Creation in nature. To put it simply, we receive enough truth about God in natural revelation to know He is there; however we do not receive enough information to be saved. This article on revelation of God points out that Paul tells us that when sinners come into contact with God’s revelation of Himself in nature, they suppress the truth they have received. Without faith in Christ, when fallen people study God’s creation, they become futile (useless, fruitless and ineffectual) in their thinking and their hearts are darkened. They do not honor the Lord or give thanks to Him.
Romans 1:22-23a,25 “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen.
What is more, they exchanged the truth that they have seen in the created order for a lie – they engaged in all manner of false religion and idolatry, worshiping the creature rather than the Creator. In sum, sinners who encounter natural revelation apart from grace and God’s revealing His plan of salvation make God in their own image, and they refuse to worship the only Lord of all. The idolatry that results when unregenerate people receive natural revelation is not the fault of natural revelation. Instead, it is the fault of the sin and unbelief that pervades fallen human beings. Natural revelation is insufficient for salvation, but God never intended it as a means of salvation. Instead, the point of natural revelation is to show people truth about the Lord so that they can see the truth about themselves, namely that they are sinners in need of salvation. You cannot be found and saved until you know that you are lost. But it takes more than natural revelation in order for people to be redeemed.
Romans 3:22-25 “The righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, though faith in His blood.
We can appeal to natural revelation to show people certain truths about God’s character and even to prove that they have violated the moral law that He has placed on the consciences of all people. However, no one will be saved only by looking at natural revelation. We must preach the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ – giving men and women the truth of special revelation – or they cannot be saved from the wrath of God.
John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
Let’s continue this message on revelation of God in the next post.
In Christ, Brian